I didn’t want him.
I had no desire to have a dog.
Definitely not an indoor dog.
We live on a dairy farm; on a dirt road.
I already struggle with a clean house and an indoor dog would not help.
We had indulged our daughter with her purchase of a dog.
Justified by small and hypo-allergenic.
That sweet puppy, Pemberly, was hit by a car and died in my arms.
2 weeks later our son died in the middle of the night with me no where near.
2 months later my farmer was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and began a fight for his life.
So getting a puppy or taking care of another living thing really never entered my thoughts.
But there we were.
Drs, pyshcologists and social workers all sharing how a pet could help with the grief process.
In my head I’m thinking, I have 4 children a sick husband and a farm to run.
How is adding another living thing to take care of a good thing?
My farmer and I talked about it and we decided that maybe all these professionals were right.
Maybe a pet would help.
And so began the conversations.
We contacted Pemberly’s breeder.
After a few calls they asked if we were interested in an older dog.
I immediately felt a little better.
But I was concerned about how old.
A puppy was one thing, but an ailing old dog was not something I wanted either.
So my farmer and coffee buddy set off on an icy cold January day to assess the situation.
What I did not understand at the time was that assess and agree mean the same thing with these two men.
They no sooner saw this 5 year old, then they decided it must be re-homed.
And here I am with a dog I didn’t want.
A dog that follows me everywhere I go.
A dog that shakes and has anxiety when I am gone.
A dog that I have grown to love with every fiber of my being.
And yesterday morning he wouldn’t get up.
When I put him on the floor he couldn’t walk.
This dog that I never wanted has become more to me than I ever thought.
After a visit to the vet and the realization that our resources did not include emergency vet care,
we took some pain meds and steroids and headed home.
I spent the day in the chair holding Bandit- our dog.
My heart and mind were heavy.
I did not want to lose this dog I did not want.
He has become my shadow and companion.
I find myself alone more and more these days and Bandit is my buddy.
He’s a great listener and never talks back.
What I thought was a healing dog for my farmer actually has become that pathway for me.
An older dog was perfect.
And for some reason he had no issues transitioning into our home.
He is sweet and friendly and charming.
He stinks and will poop and pee in the house if I leave.
He irritates everyone in the house but me.
And no one liked him, but me. . . until. . .
He can’t walk.
And my heart is broken.
And these farm kids.
All gather round and try to help.
They carry him to the lawn so he can walk easier and try to go to the bathroom.
They bring him to water so he can drink.
They carry him in the pool to exercise his limbs and cool him down.
They rejoice over him walking into the river to lay down.
And I am grateful.
I know he won’t always be here.
But this little black and white holstein look a like is strong and feisty.
So we’ll take it one day at a time.
I didn’t want this dog.
Or any dog for that matter.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.